Wellington’s Matterhorn maestro moves to Melbourne


Here’s an opening that we’re looking forward to. One of New Zealand’s finest talents, Christian McCabe, has made the move across the ditch to Melbourne to open a bar that is a mix of drinking and dining. “After looking in many places and abandoning a project or two we have finally managed to secure a site in Carlton,” said McCabe about the new site where the former one-hat diner, Embrasse used to stand.

McCabe has won many awards in New Zealand, including NZ Bartender Magazine’s Bar of the Year three times in a row for Matterhorn, Cuisine magazine Restaurant of the Year, got a nod in Wine Spectator and was a finalist at Tales of the Cocktail in 2008 for Best Drink selection. That’s some pedigree! McCabe is excited about the move back to Melbourne, which he calls a second home, having worked there in 2001 at Honky Tonks under Michael Delany-Korabelnikova. “Melbourne, despite being the first international port from New Zealand, is actually one of the most exciting eating and drinking cities in the world at the moment,” said McCabe, “and I think it will be really exciting to be a part of it.”

McCabe, along with partners Sam Mugg, his sister Amber McCabe and her husband, Jay Comeskey, are hoping that the as-yet untitled bar will be open in early 2013 and will draw on food that is “Southern European, share plates, and drinks that go well with food.”


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